Cuomo asks for bonus info from banks

By John O'Brien | Jan 11, 2010


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has requested bonus payment information from eight banks that received federal bailout funds.

Cuomo sent letters to the heads of the banks, which include Citigroup and Bank of America. Last year, Cuomo probed Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch in an attempt to determine if Bank of America withheld information about heavy losses and executive bonuses to its shareholders.

"As we informed your firm last year, when you received (Taxpayer Assistance Relief Program) funding, your firm took on a new responsibility to taxpayers," Cuomo wrote to Bank of America.

"While your firm has now paid the TARP money back, it is not clear that your firm would have been in the same position had you not received that TARP money."

Cuomo's letters seek 11 pieces of information from the banks. Notably, Cuomo wants a description of the banks' bonus programs and the number of employees who received any bonus with a value equal to or greater than $1 million.

Cuomo also wants "a description of how your bonus pool would have been impacted had you not received TARP funding in 2008 and/or 2009."

"As recent government actions have created new issues of public accountability and as private sector financial institutions are grappling with the consequences of these actions, we believe the need for full disclosure and transparency are essential and this reporting will assist in that effort," Cuomo wrote.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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